Cold zone growers: Which ones are in bloom the longest/most often

summersunlight(5b)June 13, 2013

I am just starting to get into Iris. I am in Zone 5 and I understand many rebloomers don't really rebloom here. For those of you who are also in cold climates, which iris do you find to rebloom well here or at least give you the most/longest flower season?

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I just started getting into into irises a year or two ago. I don't know about rebloomers but Harvest of Memories, Batik and Mary Frances bloomed for weeks for me!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:14AM
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It's kind of hard to say just going by zone, whether or not rebloomers have time enough to bloom again and make the offsets they need to make to keep on going for the next year. It depends more on the length of your frost free period, which is different than zone. Zone just talks about the average minimum temps you experience. I have very short frost free period, and I have had iris attempt to rebloom but the bloomstalks got frosted before they could open. I have Black Magic, a IM historic that did rebloom once, and one that was a mislabel that looks like Jesse's Song that tried to rebloom but was frozen. So mostly I go for a longer initial bloom period. Some that bloom for a long time for me are Ask Alma which is an IM that blooms early like IM's do, but blooms along with all the TB's, with a few flowers even along with the late ones. This was a surprise since it has a sort of shocking coral pink that I thought would be good with my early plants, but having it around with some of the later ones was sort of ugly. But there it was. With the right garden planning it would be a good plant. I have an unnamed blue TB historic that blooms for a very long time, and looks pretty good with Ask Alma so I keep them together. Sheer Bliss blooms for me in a good year from early mid time through to late, but when we have late frosts it doesn't tolerate it well and gets stunted. The Minnesota Iris Society has a page on reblooming iris that may be of interest to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Minnesota Iris Society

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 3:07PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

Another thing to look at is the blooming season. If it's listed as EML that means it will, hopefully, have almost continuous rebloom.

So for these guys to put out that much bloom they need more water and food than the once bloomers.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 7:21PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Rebloomers will not do well in your climate, as far as I understand, because when they begin to rebloom in October and November they will get frozen to death. There is a hybridizer working to create rebloomers for cold climates named Betty Wilkerson. She posts on the Reblooming Iris page on Facebook. You might want to ask there.

I think there may be reblooming standard dwarf bearded irises that do well in your climate, but I don't grow them so I can't say much more than that. The Intermediate irises also do well in colder areas, so I'd look at rebloomers in that category.

Here is a link that might be useful: Post on AIS blog on rebloomers

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 11:32PM
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Thanks for the link, Renee. I read a lot of Betty Wilkerson's posts and learned some things about rebloomers. Now I understand why I never had any of mine try to rebloom at my old house where I had them in a xeriscape garden where they never got fertilized and watered not much all summer. When I moved I stuck two rhizomes of each in front of the roses, and since they were watered and fertilized some did try. Which is just what you were saying, irisgal. It also got me looking more and I found this page listing rebloomers in AIS zone 2, which might be helpful to the original poster.

Here is a link that might be useful: reported rebloom, no guarantees

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 7:33AM
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In my climate many irises bloom each second year(or worse). The best bloomers for high up north are: Spinning Wheel, Sultry Mood(the best overall), Latin Lover, White owl, Best Bet, Supreme Sultan, Song of Norway, Edith Wolford, Echo de France.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:27AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

That's a great link, aseedisapromise.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 10:59PM
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